She was one of five children of Esther (Park) and Rotchie Howard. She was raised on the family farm just outside Benton and attended a nearby one-room school and then Benton High School, graduating in 1952. She then moved to Louisville to attend the Kentucky Baptist Hospital School of Nursing. During her studies she met her future husband, Wallace Sanders Jr. He was the son of one of her patients. After graduating in 1955, Julia then worked as a Registered Nurse for a year at Western Kentucky Baptist Hospital, while Wallace was at graduate school in Civil Engineering at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). They were married on June 9, 1956. Julia then worked as a Registered Nurse at Carle Clinic in Urbana, Ill. They had two children, Linda and David.
In 1964, the family moved to Ames, Iowa, where Wallace joined the faculty of Iowa State University. During this period she did some part-time work as a registered Nurse in the Northcrest Heath Care Center, but spent most of her time pouring her life into her family. In 1998, they moved to Northcrest Community, where they lived at the time of her death. They loved the community, their townhome and the many friends they have made there.
She was an active member of First Baptist Church, Ames Chapter Des Moines Metro Opera Guild (serving two years as co-President) and Questors. She also belonged to the University Women’s Club. She and Wallace loved traveling and cruising. They particularly enjoyed visiting their grandchildren and being with the entire family on their summer vacations. They were able to travel to Europe more than 25 times from 1981 to 1996. In recent years, they enjoyed their annual multi-week winter stays at the Kierland Villas in Scottsdale.
She was predeceased in death by her parents and three of her four siblings and is survived by her brother, Robert (Laura) Howard of Benton. She is also survived by her husband, Wallace, and her two children, Linda of Columbia, Mo., and David (Tina), and their children, Jonathan (Rachel) and Morgan, all of Reno/Sparks, Nev. Julia had a lifetime battle with asthma and most recently with Alzheimerís disease. The family wants to thank their many friends, doctors, medical staff and Northcrest staff that had given the tremendous loving care to Julia.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Northcrest Foundation in Ames or the First Baptist Church of Ames. There will be a private family burial in Ames Municipal Cemetery. A memorial service at the First Baptist Church will be held Saturday, Aug. 3. A luncheon will follow with time to visit with the family. Arrangements are being made by Grandon Funeral Home and Cremation Care. Condolences can be left at grandonfuneralhomeandcremationcare.com.